Saw The Desolation of Smaug yesterday and while I enjoyed it, and enjoyed being in Middle Earth again, it was not perfect.
If you’re not a fan of The Lord Of The Rings then this won’t change your mind. If you are a fan, then it will tick many boxes and indeed when it gets it right its very good, but as mentioned above it does have it’s short comings.
Like the first film it felt padded and drawn out. It didn’t seem to kick into gear until the encounter with the spiders and the encounter with Smaug himself felt much longer than it needed to be. Several times through-out the film I felt like I was waiting for the movie to move onto the next scene before the film itself was ready to.
I found it telling that one of the coolest moments in the film was also one of the most brief and subtle, i.e. Peter Jacksons cameo.
The fact is The Hobbit is not Lord Of The Rings and this film only serves to remind us of that. This jaunt through Middle-Earth just isn’t as impressive as the previous one, despite the film-makers best efforts.
However, would I buy the inevitable extended edition next year? Probably, as I did find the extended version of An Unexpected Journey seemed to play a lot better than it’s cinematic counter-part.
Couldn’t really comment on differences between book and film as I haven’t read it (but do have it!). Having said that I am curious about how much of the book is left based on where the film ended and how long the next one is likely to be.